JCR-UK

The Wimbledon Synagogue

Wimbledon, London SW19

 

 

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Wimbledon & District Synagogue logo
Congregation Data

Name:

The Wimbledon Synagogue (used since at least 2016(i))

Former Names:

Wimbledon & District Synagogue (from about 1950 to about 2016)(ii)

Wimbledon & District Reform Synagogue (until about 1950)(iii)

Address:

1 Queensmere Road, Wimbledon Park, London SW19 5QD

(From 1997) The building was the former Athlone Hall of Southlands College. (iv)

Former Addresses:

44-46 Worple Road, Wimbledon London SW19 4EJ  (from 1952 to 1997)

This was a purpose-built synagogue. The site was acquired in May 1950 and the foundation stone was laid on 8 April 1951 by Mr. Ernest Abelson (chairman, later president, of the congregation) and Mr. Leonard Montefiore OBE (then treasurer of the West London Synagogue). The synagogue was formally opened and dedicated on 25 May 1952 by Rabbi Dr. Leo Baeck.(v)

Previously the congregation held services at temporary accomadation, in particular (from 1950 about until 1952) at 61 Worple Road, Wimbledon SW19 (vi), which appears to have been a church hall.

Current Status:

Active

Date Formed:

Although a local Jewish Social Group had existed since 1948, the congregation was founded in February 1949, when an inaugaral meeting was held to establish a reform congregation.(viii)

Ritual:

Reform

Affiliation:

A constituent synagogue of the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain).

Website:

http://www.wimshul.org/

Ministers:
(To view a short profile of a minister who also served other UK congregations - name in blue - hold the curser over his or her name.)

Rev. A. Jaffe(x) - from about 1952 until about 1953

Rabbi Charles Berg - from June 1953 until 1974, and thereafter emeritus(xi)

Rabbi Hillel Avidan - from June 1974 until August 1981(xii)

Rabbi Amnon Daniel Smith - from 1982 until 1993(xiii)

Rabbi Robert Franklin Shafritz - from October 1993 until July 1996(xiv)

Rabbi William (Willy) Wolff - from 1997 until 2002(xv)

Rabbi Sylvia Helen Fay Rothschild and Rabbi Sybil Ann Sheridan - joint ministers from October 2002 until 2014(xix)

Rabbi Tony Hammond (interim rabbi - 1st period) - from 2014 until November 2015(xx)

Rabbi Jason Posner(xxi) - from November 2015 until September 2016

Rabbi Tony Hammond (interim rabbi - 2nd period) - from 2016 until least 2018(xx)

Membership Data:

1951 - 63 members(xxii)

1956 - 130 families(xxiii)

1961 - 225 members(xxii)

2010 - listed as having 500 - 749 members (by household)(xxiv)

2016 - listed as having 400 - 499 members (by household)(xxiv)

Legal & Charitable Status(xxv):

On 11 January 2013, the congregation was incorporated as a registered private company (company no. 08356706), limited by guarantee without a share capital (and with an exemption from use of the word 'Limited'), registered under its previous name Wimbledon and District Synagogue. It is also a registered charity, in the same name (no. 1150678), registered on 4 February 2013. The governing documents are the company's Memorandum & Articles Association, as amended.

There was an earlier registration of the congregation as a registered charity (no. 1040712) registered on 19 September 1994 and removed from the register on 18 March 2014. With effect from 1 April 1913, all assests and activities of this charity were transferred to the new entity.

Local Government District:

Wimbledon is a suburb in South London. The present synagogue is located close to Wimbledon Park, at the northern end of Wimbledon, lying just within the London Borough of Wandsworth, an Inner London Borough created in 1965 within administrative area of Greater London.(xxvi)

However, most of Wimbledon, including the previous synagogue in Worple Road, is in theLondon Borough of Merton, an Outer London Borough within administrative area of Greater London, and was previously (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Wimbledon, in the county of Surrey.(xxvii)

Registration Districts (BMD):

London Borough of Wandsworth - Link to Register Office website

London Borough of Merton(xxix) - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery
Information:

Membership of the synagogue includes burial rights through the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS) at one of its cemeteries, principally the Western Cemetery in Cheshunt. There is also the option (through the JJBS) of a Woodland Burial in Cheshunt or cremation at Golders Green Crematorium.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The congregation was already listed under this name in the 2016 report of Synagogue Membership (see note (xxiv) below), although it was listed under its previous name in the last publication of the Jewish Year Book in 2015.

  • (ii) The congregation was listed under this name in Jewish Year Books from 1951 through the final publication in 2015.

  • (iii) The congregation was listed under this name only on its first appearance in Jewish Year Books in 1950.

  • (iv) Based upon the listing of this address in Jewish Year Books from 1999 and the commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (v) Based upon the listing of this address in Jewish Year Books from 1954 through 1998 and the commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (vi) This is the address listed in Jewish Year Books from 1951 through 1953. The address is not mentioned in the congregation's 2009 commemorative booklet, although thee is reference to a church hall in Worple Road.

  • (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Based upon Rev. Jaffe's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1953. His appointment was most probably of an interim nature as he is not mentioned in the congregation's 2009 commemorative booklet, where, on several occasions, it refers to Rabbi Berg as being the congregation's first minister.

  • (xi) Based upon Rabbi Berg's entry in the Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History.

  • (xii) Based upon Rabbi Avidan's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1975 through 1981.

  • (xiii) Based upon Rabbi Smith's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1983 through 1993.

  • (xiv) Rabbi Shafritz's "Who's Who" in Jewish Year Books (latest 1996) and Commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (xv) Rabbi Wolf's website, accessed 13 December 2018 and Commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (xvi) to (xviii) Reserved.

  • (xix) Based upon Rabbis Rothschild and Sheridan's listing as joint ministers of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 2003 through 2014 and Jewish Chronicle press report of 2 June 2014. This is believed to be the first rabbinical job share in the UK.

  • (xx) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 October 2017.

  • (xxi) Based upon Reform Judaism's announcement of 6 November 2015 and Jewish Chronicle report of 4 October 2017. American-born Rabbi Posner, who was ordained in 2015, returned to the US.

  • (xxii) The membership figures for 1951 and 1961 are from Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism (1995), by Michael A. Meyer.

  • (xxiii) Commemorative booklet, "60 Years of Memories of Wimbledon & District Synagogue" see below.

  • (xxiv) The membership figures for 2010 and 2016 are from reports on "Synagogue Membership in the United Kingdom in 2010" and "in 2016", respectively, published by BOD and JPR. Link to reports.

  • (xxv) Charities Commission and Companies House websites (during beta test stage) and Open Charities website, all accessed 13 December 2018.

  • (xxvi) The London Borough of Wandsworth was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the former Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth (other than the Streatham and Clapham localities) with the former Metropolitan Borough of Battersea (both metropolitan boroughs established in 1900). These areas had been within the (then abolished) County of London (established in 1899).

  • (xxvii) The London Borough of Merton was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the former Municipal Boroughs of Wimbledon and Mitcham with the former Merton and Morden Urban District. These areas had all been within the County of Surrey.

  • (xxviii) The former Registration District was Surrey North East, from 1 April 1934 until 1 April 1965.

 

Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

on JCR-UK

  • Bibliography:

    • Wimbledon and District Synagogue - A Historical Review 1949-1984 by Marcus Bower (1984)

    • other London bibliography

on Third Party websites


List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of Wandsworth

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of Merton

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page


Page created: 25 October 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 13 December 2018
Latest revision or update: 24 May 2019


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